M.S. Thesis Presentation by Wyatt Watson 
Tuesday, July 27, 1999

(Dr. Steven Dickerson, advisor)

"USB Remote Machine Controller"

Abstract

Even robots with little complexity can contain many electronic components that are dispersed throughout the machine.  This requires the use of a large number of wires, which results in a prominent source of failures.  This thesis describes the design of a remote axis controller that would help to reduce the number of wires needed to control a robot.  A microcontroller would be placed at each axis of the robot and would communicate with the robot's host computer using the Universal Serial Bus (USB).  The proposed bus allows ``daisy chaining'', requiring only one twisted pair of wires for communication between the host computer and all axis controllers.  Each controller will have the I/O capabilities necessary to be a robust, generic axis controller.  A typical axis controller requires an encoder, accelerometer, machine vision input, output for motor control, and parallel I/O for discrete on/off activities.

This thesis details the hardware and software design process used to design a remote axis serial interface device (RASID).  Hardware was selected to build a complete RASID.  In addition, an emulation was developed to provide proof-of-concept for the USB based RASID.